Hundreds of student protesters became trapped inside PolyU after Hong Kong police closed all university exits following violent clashes, which entailed demonstrators hurling petrol bombs, bamboo poles and bricks, and shooting arrows at police officers.
The Hong Kong-based newspaper cited an unnamed police source as saying that some of those arrested were taken to hospitals by ambulances.
Reporters at the scene shared on social media videos and pictures of a daring escape attempt by some of the student protesters, who slid down ropes hanging over a road bridge appeared to be at least 60 feet tall, and were picked up by supporters on mopeds. The escape reportedly went undetected for more than 40 minutes, after which police began arresting those left behind.
During a press briefing on Monday, John Lee, the secretary of security in Hong Kong, said that everyone trapped inside PolyU would be arrested for taking part in the rioting. He also called on them to leave the university peacefully and follow the instructions of the police.
The massive protests began in Hong Kong in early June over a controversial extradition bill, which was officially withdrawn in October. Frustrated with the local authorities’ heavy-handed responses to the protests, the demonstrators expanded their demands to add an independent investigation into alleged police brutality and greater civil liberties, including universal suffrage, while calling for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
Beijing has repeatedly stated that the situation in Hong Kong is a result of foreign interference in China's domestic affairs and expressed full support for the actions of the local authorities.